Daniil Medvedev faces unseeded Nick Kyrgios in Montreal after losing his opening match last week. The world No. 1 faces another tough challenge on Tuesday night at the Boutique van de Zandschulp as he begins his West & South Open campaign.
In the year Playing against the only man to take him to the 2021 US Open, Medvedev made a quick start after a break but had to survive a different second set to win 6-4, 7-5. Third round in Cincinnati.
“The second set wasn’t that clean,” said Medvedev, who served up a break point and held serve in the set. “The first set was very good. Everything was working, I had three games where I broke points but I managed to break in the first game, that was enough.”
Medvedev built a set and break lead, but quickly surrendered the advantage when Van de Zandschulp broke even in the second for 3-3. After the Dutchman saved three break points, it was 5-4 and it was Medvedev’s turn to save the break. The top seed survived thanks to his opponent’s error, then broke for the third time in the match as van de Zandschulp triple-faulted at 5-all.
“The second set wasn’t that bad,” Medvedev said. “Especially today, he wasn’t serving well, he was making a lot of double faults. So I tried to apply pressure, I took my chances. I really feel that I came back and did a good job. Two breaks are enough to win on these fast courts. And I had to do a little bit better on my serve.” But the first match is difficult and I am happy to be able to go, and I hope to improve my level in the next matches.
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Serving adversity kept Van de Zandschulp at bay all night as he finished with 11 double faults, including two break points. But when Medvedev won, he created his third break point of the match and made one final charge in the return.
Medvedev spoke about his opponent’s struggles: “I had some fights. “You don’t know why, you can’t put in a second serve and I did a few today. So maybe there’s something about the balls getting a little heavier with the humidity.”
Medvedev, who served four double faults for a first serve percentage of 58, did enough damage in his final service game to close out the match on his third match point. The 2019 Cincinnati champion dominated with an 87 percent winning percentage on his first serve.
He will next face either Tommy Paul or Denis Shapovalov in the Montreal quarter-finals. With one more victory, Medvedev will secure his spot on the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in his US Open title defense.